Journeys toward the communal: Metaphor and the construction of poetic narrative in the poetry of Ellen Bryant Voigt, Eavan Boland, and Adrienne Rich, with implications for a pedagogy of communal voice in writing
Applying theories of conceptual metaphor advanced by cognitive linguists, as well as categories of voice advanced by literary theorists, these essays analyze how three contemporary women poets writing in English—Ellen Bryant Voigt, Eavan Boland, and Adrienne Rich—subvert conceptual metaphors of place to construct inclusive voices and move toward the construction of communal voice or voices in poetic narrative. Voigt constructs conceptual metaphors of place to give voice to ineffable and extreme psychological and emotional states. Boland subverts and supplants the patriarchal poetical and geographical landscapes that have conflated Woman with Nation to provide spaces from which silenced and misrepresented women's voices may speak. Rich ruptures and replaces the formal poetical and geographical landscapes to accommodate communal feminist voices and then other collectives of voices of the disenfranchised. Poems selected from the entire opus of each writer are analyzed to show each poet's movement toward communal voice. A chapter on pedagogy demonstrates that conceptual metaphor is necessary for cognition and may be used as a tool for revision in an undergraduate composition class. As a tool for revision, the conceptual metaphors also can operate to revise a class' metaphorical concept of itself and attendant disadvantageous classroom behaviors, as when metaphor and voice converged in an undergraduate creative writing classroom to create a lived, voiced conceptual metaphor, class is a (functional or dysfunctional) family home.
British and Irish literature;
0593: British and Irish literature
0591: American literature
0453: Womens studies